2014 PBA Governors’ Cup Semifinals: Aces draw first blood against Painters!

Bill Walker was in dominant form again as the Aces won Game 1.

Game notes:
- After averaging just 8 points and 8 rebounds while shooting 39% from the field in the eliminations, former Gilas Pilipinas candidate Sonny Thoss has stepped up in the Playoffs. In Alaska’s two games after the elims, Thoss has normed around 14 points, 7 boards, and has shot 45% from the floor. If Thoss is solid, Alaska is a bona fide title contender.

- Bill Walker dropped another great game here, slightly outplaying counterpart and Best Import candidate AZ Reid. Walker scored 31 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, handed out 4 assists, got 2 steals, and blocked 2 shots. 

- ROS started fast here, but they couldn’t handle the Aces’ toughness in the paint. Thoss had his way, scoring 14 in the first hald, while Vic Manuel also provided great minutes at the 4 spot.

Game recap by Rey Joble/InterAKTV:


The Alaska Aces proved steadier down the stretch as they defeated the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 97-93, to grab a 1-0 lead in their PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup semifinal series on Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Aces held the Elasto Painters scoreless for the last four minutes and scored the last nine points of the game as they took an early lead in their best-of-five showdown.

Import Henry Walker scored 31 points and posted seven rebounds and four assists to lead Alaska while center Sonny Thoss added 16 points and eight boards.

Walker also shone brightest in the clutch, scoring in the post to break a 93-all deadlock with just 49 seconds on the play before getting a crucial steal off a Rain or Shine inbound with seconds to play and sealing the win with a pair of free throws.

Alaska has won five straight games since receiving a 51-point beatdown from Rain or Shine in their elimination round matchup.

Rain or Shine started hot, jumping out to an 11-2 lead after Paul Lee hit back-to-back three-pointers and Gabe Norwood finished off an alley-oop pass from import Arizona Reid and knocked down an extra free throw.

But Alaska pounded the ball down low to come to as close as a single point, 20-19, before Rain or Shine closed with four unanswered points to lead 24-19 at the end of the first.

The second period put the clash of the team’s styles on full display.

The speedy Elasto Painters got their deadly running game going to score nine consecutive points and take a 33-24 lead.

But the Aces made their power game felt in a 16-0 run built around the post play of their big man Thoss, who scored 10 of Alaska’s points in that stretch, and some muscle on the offensive glass that resulted in second chance opportunities.

With Alaska up 40-33 with about three minutes remaining, Rain or Shine countered with their quickness yet again. Jeff Chan was effective with his drives to the basket while Reid stretched the floor with his three-point shooting as the Elasto Painters went on a 10-2 counter to keep reclaim the lead.

The Aces ended the first half on top, 46-45, with Thoss already posting 14 points and seven rebounds at the break.

In the third, Rain or Shine led by as much as eight points, 65-57, after Lee scored the last eight Elasto Painters points in a 14-4 blast.

Lee made a heady play, driving around a double team to get two points off a drive before knocking down two three-pointers as Rain or Shine extended their lead once more.

Alaska, though, kept things close after Calvin Abueva scored five points in a 7-1 Alaska run that closed the quarter.

In the fourth, the Elasto Painters turned an 84-81 deficit into a five-point lead after another three-pointer from Lee, his fifth of the game, sparked a 12-4 Rain or Shine run.

Reid scored four straight points to make it 93-88 with 4:04 to play.

But that was the last time Rain or Shine would find the bottom of the net and Alaska rattled off nine straight points – five from Walker and two each from Dondon Hontiveros and Vic Manuel – to take the victory.

Reid led Rain or Shine with 27 points while Lee finished with 19.

Alaska’s Vic Manuel had 14 points and eight rebounds while three other Aces – JVee Casio, RJ Jazul and Abueva – chipped in with seven markers each.

ALA 97 – Walker 31, Thoss 16, Manuel 14, Casio 7, Jazul 7, Abueva 7, Espinas 5, Hontiveros 5, Baguio 5, Dela Cruz 0.
ROS 93 – Reid 27, Lee 19, Chan 14, Tiu 8, Norwood 6, Arana 5, Belga 4, Almazan 3, Ibanes 3, Cruz 2, Nuyles 2, Rodriguez 0.
QS: 19-24, 46-45, 73-74, 97-93

Alex Compton (center) has steered the Aces to a prime position after struggling
early in the conference.

Jeff Chan tries to drive to the hole against the Alaska D.

Raymond Almazan tries to box out Calvin Abueva in the paint.

Images by Paul Ryan Tan/Sports 5.

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